The play’s the thing, the lady from Old Town sings, and get ready for shopping season
Nov. 8, 8 p.m.
State Theatre, 609 Congress St., Portland
Nov. 9, 7:30 p.m.
Opera House at Boothbay Harbor, 86 Townsend Ave., Boothbay
Maine native Patty Griffin rolls into Portland to perform at the State Theatre on the 8th and then onto the Opera House at Boothbay Harbor on the 9th. The singer/songwriter has been singing and playing guitar since she was a teenager growing up in a family of six siblings in Old Town. Her most recent album, Patty Griffin, came out in March. Catch her with Lori McKenna at the State Theatre (tickets starting at $40 via ticketmaster.com) or see her in Boothbay at the Opera House ($35 advance, $40 at the door; 207–633–5159).
Maine Women Magazine Live
Nov. 10, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Brick South, 8 Thompson’s Point, Portland
Join us for a Sunday full of crafts, storytelling and our magazine content brought to life. Ticket sales benefit In Her Presence, a nonprofit empowering immigrant women to succeed in Maine. ($5 in advance or at the door; mainewomenexpo.com)
Nov. 15, 8 p.m.
Portland House of Music and Events, 25 Temple St., Portland
Superhero Lady Armwrestlers of Portland. Just like it sounds. Women arm wrestling. Plus good food and good humor. The purse (as always with this group) is entirely for charity. This season’s featured nonprofit is the Maine Foodscapes Garden Project, which provides gardening resources for the food insecure. ($8 in advance, $10 at the door; portlandhouseofmusic.com)
Holiday Craft Sale
Nov. 30, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Maine Audubon, 20 Gilsland Farm Rd., Falmouth
Every year Maine Audubon hosts a holiday craft sale at its headquarters at Gilsland Farm. Look for items made by volunteers and staffers, including the handknit and handcrafted, from jewelry to stained glass. Purchases help support Maine Audubon’s mission. (207–781–2330)
Nov. 4, 7 p.m.
Portland Stage, 25A Forest Ave., Portland
Nov. 14, 5:30 p.m.
Maine State Library, 230 State St., Augusta
A little more than a year ago, Anita Stewart, Portland Stage’s executive and artistic director, and Ellen Alderman, chairwoman of Maine’s Suffrage Centennial Collaborative, sat down with Portland playwright Callie Kimball to talk about her writing a play to commemorate 100 years of women having the vote. Kimball’s hunch is they asked her because historical fiction was in her wheelhouse; her 2016 play Sofonisba, is about an Italian Renaissance painter. Stewart and Alderman also made a very specific request; could the play address suffrage from an intersectional point of view? Kimball was happy to oblige, “because we have so much material written about the white suffragists,” she says. All women technically got the vote in 1920, but for black women it remained hard to cast a ballot, in large part due to Jim Crow laws, the state and local laws that enabled segregation.
The result is Perseverance, which will be previewed twice this month (performed without sets and the actors reading their parts) in honor of Maine ratifying the 19th Amendment in November 1919. Kimball tells the story of two women within the same space 100 years apart. Perseverance (Percy) Turner is an African-American schoolteacher, writer and suffragist, teaching in a municipal building in the small town of Hillcroft, Maine. Percy will be played by Bowdoin student, Jessica Speight. Meanwhile in 2020, Dawn Davis, also a teacher, is running for office on a platform of education reform, while renovating that very same Hillcroft building with her husband, finds Percy’s letters.
There’s a good chance that Portland Stage will do a full production of Perseverance, so Kimball will be listening attentively, with an eye toward fine-tuning. “I usually like to hide in the back because then I can sort of tune into how the audience as a whole is responding. Are they fidgeting, are they tuning in, are they leaning forward?” She’s already done two drafts of the play. “In quick succession. Now I want to hear it. I want to sit with it.” Sit with her for a sneak peek. (Nov. 4 tickets $10 in advance, $15 at the door; portlandstage.org. The shorter preview on Nov. 14 is free.)